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Accelerometer-Based, Grip-Free Controller. Tyler (You-Chi) Le ECE4220 Fall 2011 Dr. DeSouza December 5 th , 2011. A Quick Overview. What is the project? A glove-integrated sensor that detects hand orientation using real-time tasks to provide control various applications

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Accelerometer based grip free controller

Accelerometer-Based, Grip-Free Controller

Tyler (You-Chi) Le


Fall 2011

Dr. DeSouza

December 5th, 2011

A quick overview
A Quick Overview

  • What is the project?

    • A glove-integrated sensor that detects hand orientation using real-time tasks to provide control various applications

    • Aimed to demonstrate a flexible and dynamic alternative to the traditional controller and joystick

    • Prototype for demonstrations for both gaming and vehicular control for disabled persons

    • Two simulation programs demonstrate potential usage


  • Provide a flexible, cheap, and dynamic controller for operation of vehicles, simulations, and games

  • Integrated with glove to replace fixed-shaped joysticks

  • Motion-based controls for ease of use

  • Configurable sensitivity to accommodate varying ranges of motion

  • Packaged with two graphical simulations to demonstrate potential usage and applicability

Motivation background
Motivation (Background)

  • For disabled individuals:

    • Current camera-based and optical motion sensors need min. distance and proper lighting, not appropriate for inside of cars or inside of confined spaces

    • Present joysticks are limited by design shape and have limited usability

    • Many joysticks require gripping an object rather than hand movement (May prove troublesome for people with lack of grip strength or finger damage/injuries)

    • Desire to provide a easy-to-configure, easy-to-use prototype for vehicle control (possibly for wheelchairs or cars)

Motivation cont
Motivation Cont.

  • For video game control:

    • Game system controllers are limited by design shape and have limited usability in representing different types of motion

    • Minimum distance for optical sensors not applicable for PC’s as users have to be close to keyboard and mouse

    • Joysticks and driving wheels are costly and single-purposed

Proposed implementation
Proposed Implementation

  • Hardware:

    • Detect hand orientation using an analog 2-axis accelerometer

    • Accelerometer is affixed to top of glove, no finger grip necessary

    • Power drawn from TS-7250 DIO lines

    • TS-7250 on-board ADC measures analog output of accelerometer to measure tilt/orientation*

      *MAX197 Add-on is not available on TS-7250’s in lab

Integrated adc on ts 7250
Integrated ADC on TS-7250

MAX197, not avail. In current lab TS-7250

Integrated ADC

5 Channels

Hardware block diagram
Hardware Block Diagram

2-Axis Accelerometer

ADC and TS-7250 Embedded System

Linux Terminal

Network Server

Proposed implementation1
Proposed Implementation

  • Software:

    • Control registers for ADC as well as ADC results are mapped to the compiler using mmap() and provided addresses

    • Four pthreads initialize real-time tasks that operate in sequence to produce graphical simulations based on hand orientation

    • Real-time tasks operate with 0.1 second periods for 10 Hz axis measurements, simulation update, and graphic output

    • Character array-based graphics printed through the Linux Terminal for graphical output

    • User-configured range of motion at initialization for varying sensitivity

Proposed implementation2
Proposed Implementation

  • Real-time (RT) Structure:

    • Two RT tasks poll the output of the 2-axis accelerometer and store result into two shared buffers

    • A third RT task reads from the shared buffers to update graphical positions of various simulation components

    • Fourth RT task prints the updated character arrays to the Terminal, producing the graphical display

    • Each task prevents the next successive task from execution before completion using semaphores

Software block diagram
Software Block Diagram

Update Graphics

Measure H-Axis

Shared Buffer

Shared Buffer




Measure V-Axis

Display Graphics

Real time concepts used
Real-Time Concepts Used

  • Pthreads – multithread operation

  • Periodic RT tasks

  • Semaphores

  • Shared buffer

  • Producer-Consumer Structure

  • I/O Polling

  • Priority Scheduling


  • TS-7250 produces measurements and displays consistent with hand motion

  • Simulations demonstrate both practical usage and gaming application for proposed prototype

  • User-defined minimum and maximum values allow customizable range of motion

  • The prototype cost around $15 dollars excluding the TS-7250

Potential improvements
Potential Improvements

  • Migrate functionality to the MAX197 Optional Add-on ADC for better accuracy and faster sampling

  • Better accuracy would result in better resolution, allowing smaller minimal range of motion

  • Expansion of buffer and threads to allow 6 axis, both-hands operation

  • Utilizing display drivers or programs that minimize processing speed to allow faster refresh rate

  • Implementation to prevent unintentional acceleration through averaging algorithms

  • Wirelessly integrate ADC and accelerometer

Potential implementations
Potential Implementations

  • Placed on hand, head, and/or fingers to sense orientation for vehicular control for disabled persons

  • “Makeshift” joystick similar to Nintendo Wii controllers, but with no required physical hardware to grip

  • Robotics control

  • Transport what is already available on many mobile devices to larger-scale applications


  • Demonstrates a flexible and configurable prototype for a non-conventional controller

  • Provides a motion sensing module that does not require grip and holding an object

  • Potentially beneficial towards people with disabilities lacking a large range of motion or grip strength

  • Demonstrates potential to replace a wide variety of single-purpose video game joysticks (cost-saving)

  • Can be used in confined spaces on systems larger than mobile devices

  • Successfully demonstrates usage of real-time design in simulation and controller